Cape Town Mafia: Biggest underworld trial to expose politically connected in city’s economy of the night

Tourists and visitors to Cape Town as well as the city’s well-heeled residents who enjoy dining and dancing at some of the city’s high-end restaurants and nightclubs may believe they are immune to the endemic gang warfare that blights the lives of the city’s working classes. But the recent appearance of five alleged Cape underworld figures in what promises to be the most significant trial exposing the entrails of organised crime in the region has not only implicated high-ranking police officers, revealing the state’s links to the criminal economy, but also made visible just how intimate the under- and upper-worlds are. By MARIANNE THAMM.